Friday, December 24, 2010

Just a little post to say...

...Merry Christmas and a happy new year, season's greetings, happy you all no matter where you live in this wide and beautiful world, no matter what path you follow.  May you keep safe and sound with your loved ones, may you keep warm where the snow is falling, cool where the sun is burning, may you have food on your table, a good roof over your heads, and a smile on your face.  And may we all look forward to a new year with a little more love, a little more compassion, a little more tolerance for each other...a little more time to appreciate how beautiful the world is, how lucky so many of us are because we already have all the things we need...and a thought for those who do not, a thought that might become a deed, and a deed that might change someone's life for the better.

Peace and Goodwill to all

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A December birthday...

...and a gift for someone very special.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fire Angel and Ice Queen...

The little Fire Angel is finished, and also Mother Winter who has been waiting patiently for her ribbons and bows.  Perhaps she has been sleeping, hiding away from all this heat and bright sunlight and dreaming of long dark nights and ice festooned trees.
She is lying on the small gift bag I made for her, 
hand-sewn out of linen dyed with onion skins and eucalyptus leaves.
And just for Oya's Daughter...the trick is actually a tiny, very fine pen nib, 
mounted on a feather for lightness, and gold ink!
In the end, I decided not to try looking for a suitable quote as I would be here till next Christmas on the web trying to find something.  So I just wrote a little poem that I think/hope will be appropriate for its new owner.

Old Mother Winter with her ice leaves and crystals.
Another little poem, about rebirth and the circle of seasons.  Within the dead of winter lies the seed waiting for spring (goodness, I sound like a Bette Midler song!), and here, in Western Australia at least (apparently in the East States summer has yet to put in an appearance) in the harsh dry summer we wait for the greening that comes with the Autumn rains.

It has been a busy weekend, I always have this pie-in-the-sky Christmas dream of a perfectly clean and tidy house ready to be decorated with gorgeous home-made things, but I never quite seem to get there.  Always there is a mad scramble of cleaning and dusting (accompanied by much sneezing), of putting away (or when that fails, shoving into the spare room), of cooking and Christmas always arrives at least a week early. I made my Pan Fortes, but will need to make more as they are likely to disappear without a trace when the other half is anywhere near.  Mind you, the munchkins will also magically disappear them now, despite the fact that they are quite spicy (Chilli has become a compulsory ingredient in the last few years)!  But today I decided I'd had enough with the cleaning, and spent a little time making a Christmas banner for my kitchen window.  Brown paper and string never looked so good, I think!

Friday, December 10, 2010

An angel in progress...

A work in progress, a 'sort of' commission.  The red background will become gold wings.  I need to find a suitable quote...something about rebirth, renewal I think.  I will post pics when it's finished.  Christmas is coming much too fast and I have too much to do and not enough time as always!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A song emerging...

I am writing my first ever song with the guitar.  I've written the odd song before, but always the words and voice/melody were paramount, with any accompaniment being just a vague idea in the background. But this is a completely new way of working for me...twiddling around finding an interesting chord progression (very simple stuff still, I've only been doing this for 6 months), then playing around with different picking rhythms, letting a melody line evolve that seems to compliment it, and only then allowing words to float in that fit in around that.  It resulted in something that is less of a clear narrative than what I've written in the past, with words that sometimes fell into place because of their sounds as much, if not more, than their meaning.  But I'm rather liking it so far.  It is currently only a two chord song...with a couple of surprise C chords thrown in, but I think I like it enough to hang onto it.  So perhaps in another year or two, it might evolve further, as my skill with the guitar evolves.  These are the words at present, but all are subject to change without notice! ;-)

Through the window she came
Too long to wait for the moon to change
Out to the trees where the owls sing
Who are you, who are you, who
She says....
Gotta get me some wings
To fly away.
And the old man on the hill says
Wrong time of year to run away
Winter is coming and the frost is cruel
Don't be a fool.....
And stay.

She got a red rose blooming at her throat
An old donkey skin for a winter coat
Her feet hit the ground running
And she will not stop
Till she's far away...
Lickety-split go her tiny little toes
Lickety-split she's following her nose
Who knows where she'll go....
Got a pebble in her pocket and a piece of string
Tied in a knot for remembering
Who she was
And still could be...

And the road is paved with white stones
They'll cut her poor feet to the bone
And a trail of blood leads away
To a house by the sea
Made of fish bones and coral and old sailors' tales
And the old man on the hill says
Go on and be a mermaid
Wash your white feet in the brine
Watch them disappear into fin and scales
Lickety-split go her tiny little toes
Lickety-split she's following her nose
Who knows where she'll go....
Got a pebble in her pocket and a piece of string
Tied in a knot for remembering
Who she was
And will be again...

Christina Cairns © 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Anniversary Jam...

No, it's not a bunch of old musos getting 'the band' together again!  Yesterday the Other Half and I celebrated 16 years of wedded bliss.  And what did we do together to celebrate?  Well, apart from the fact that both of us forgot entirely until I was writing the girls' lunch orders for school and had to fill in the date and I wondered for a moment why it seemed significant...and then remembered...we made jam.  No, it's not a metaphor for anything else, we did indeed make apricot jam.  Having run out of bottles for bottling (I'm sure I've got some more somewhere but can I find them?!), we decided to tackle jam-making.  Neither of us has made jam before, so whether it was beginner's luck, or we're just 'naturals' I can't say, but it turned out beautifully.  I may have to make some scones tomorrow to really appreciate it's perfectness, and that will of course require the good china and the nice white tablecloth (can't be half-hearted about Sunday afternoon tea)...mmmmm.

I think I might have posted this photo before, but what the heck, it's entirely appropriate (I am, after all, wearing Apricot coloured silk), and I like it.  My mum made this dress and embroidered the bodice, and I hand-painted and beaded over the top.  I also made my hairpiece, and jewellery and shhhhh, don't tell anyone, but it's actually made with plastic beads.  It's the 'practice' one...because I never had time to make the 'real one!  But it doesn't matter, it's still the best wedding I've ever been to.
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